Dear SUBR Community, this email is just to inform you about a significant update to the SU Open Library for Education. Visit the SU Digital Library and pay attention to the Virtual Laboratory Page. You can access it here. We have now an inventory of software solutions, free and commercial, to deliver STEM experimental Laboratory. As you may know, one of the main barrier for delivering a STEM program online is the laboratory component.

Professor Moustapha Diack
A. V. P. SUS Office Online Learning Services.

I may admit that this issue is still being debated by some professional organizations. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the American Chemical Society (ACS) have taken the position that “hands-on” means that students must physically touch the materials rather than “do” science on a computer (See NSTA Statement here) (ACS Statement here). Both organizations have issued position statements arguing against using computer simulations as a substitute for in‑person, in‑school laboratory experiences. However, there has been some cultural changes in recent year. By the way, Dr. Eduardo Martinez, from the SUBR College of Sciences & Engineering (Biology), has been teaching a General Biology Lab fully delivered online using virtual lab. Many institutions within the US are now using these tools to deliver STEM programs fully online. Off course a hybrid delivery has been very common in the past. In early 2000, I was delivering general chemistry 132/132 laboratory using these environment implemented in the curriculum as hybrid or pre-laboratory assignments.

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